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Casting Call Set For Next NESCom Short Film

Auditions for the Tale of the Three Brothers

Auditions for the Tale of the Three Brothers

The New England School of Communications at Husson University is pleased to announce the commencement of pre-production of their new short film entitled, The Endless Ends. The original script, written by NESCom instructor Kris Bridges, is a story of a recovering alcoholic forced to reflect on his past and his decisions to make amends with the family he has severely damaged.

A public casting call is set for Friday, September 12th from 4pm to 6pm and Saturday, September 13th from 10am to 2pm. Both calls will be held in the Black Box Theatre, located at the Gracie Theatre on the Husson University campus in Bangor. The script calls for actors ranging in ages from 18 to 40. Actors interested in auditioning call download the script and review roles now at http://theendlessends.com.

The Endless Ends is the third short film produced by the students and faculty of the New England School of Communications. In the spring 2014 semester, production was complete on the Tale of the Three Brothers, based on a story by J.K. Rowling and the Stephen King based short film The Last Rung on the Ladder was finished in 2011.

Actors who have questions regarding the audition are encouraged to email theendlessends@husson.edu

Production of the Tale of the Three Brothers

Production of the Tale of the Three Brothers

Early Summer 2014 Updates from NESCom

Inquiring minds need to know – What’s going on at NESCom? As usual, there is a lot of activity because summer is our time to plan, build, and repair. We can unveil a few at this point, and we’ll report on more as the summer progresses.

• One of our labs (room 219) will become the new location for our IT staff, and that lab will be designed, expanded from 13 to 18 stations and moved into 306 with new 2.9 GHz iMacs
• Two other labs (rooms 105 and 109) will be re-equipped with new Apple Mac Pro’s with 27” Thunderbolt displays and dual graphics cards to HD editing and 3D rendering capacity. Apple has packaged this beast in a neat new case. Take a look at http://www.apple.com/mac-pro/
• We will deploy Apple’s latest operating system (we thought it would be OS X Mavericks, but with the announcement at the Apple Developer’s Conference a few days ago, it could be Yosemite) on all of our computers.
• Our Analog AV switcher will be replaced with new AirPlay technology to increase speed of HD file transfer.
• In the Gracie, the Yamaha PM5D audio console is being replaced with Yamaha’s updated console, the CL3 and associate outboard gear.

Yamaha CL3

Yamaha CL3

• The laptops for our Apple Cart will be replaced with Apple MacBook Airs.
• Brave Williams and a crew of Entertainment Production students have designed and are now building the set for the Nite Show with Danny Cashman, from which we’ll broadcast this fall, in our own Gracie Theatre.
• “The Tale of Three Brothers” is being entered in film festivals around the country. We’re looking at several possibilities for our next major film project.

NESCom faculty, as usual, are busy this summer. Walter Clissen is in Europe (primarily the Netherlands and Serbia) working with Dragana and Jose Feliciano on an album project, and working on audio post for a film to be released in Europe. Here is Walter at the Studio Barba in Belgrade. For those audio geeks, that’s an AMEK 9098i (originally designed by Rupert Neve).

Walter Clissen

Walter Clissen

Wells Gordon is busy recording, both as an engineer and as a musician. Here’s a shot of Wells multi-tasking at our API 1608 while laying down the bass track for some nice Blues.

Wells Gordon in Studio B

Wells Gordon in Studio B

Ken Stack has a gig at The Grand in Ellsworth, entertaining the “summer folk” as the artistic director for a new production of Monty Python’s “Spamalot”.

earlysummer2014_ken

Larry Ayotte is finishing his project on Reflections – the use of reflective surfaces in photography. If you haven’t seen one of these, check this out:

Reflections photography by Larry Ayotte

Reflections photography by Larry Ayotte

With the recent focus on train safety, Frank Welch is working on an industry video project about the extraction of personnel from train engines that have been in an accident. Here is a photo from the set in Chicago:

earlysummer2014_frank

Looking forward to the next installment on the blog, I think I’ll write about our fiber optic cable installation project around campus. Stay tuned for this layman’s discussion of a technical area.

As always, if you have any questions, please send an email or call.

Thom Johnston
Dean, New England School of Communications at Husson University
johnstonth@husson.edu or thom@nescom.edu
207-973-1062

A busy week finds rehearsals, presentations, workshops and upgrades at NESCom

Over the past week NESCom played host to everything from equipment upgrades to a world-renowned audio engineer to award-winning writers and directors. Here is a brief sampling of what a busy week at NESCom looks like.
We welcomed Hitachi technicians into our video production studio.  Emilio Aleman and Chee Liew were here to update our fleet of mobile unit and studio video cams with new components, enhancements and software. This is part of the great service that our partners like Hitachi, provide to us. By staying ahead of the curve, our students gain access to the latest Hitachi ideas and are better prepared for their careers. IMG_2646_sm IMG_2648_sm On another stop, a roving photographer caught the practice of two Husson teams on a great sunny day.  Below you’ll see some of the Eagles preparing for their next competitions. lacrosse1_sm lacrosse2_sm In the category of “you-never- know-what-to-expect-at-NESCom”, we received a call from the producers asking us to do a quick ADR session with one of the actors of USA Network’s Graceland. It so happens that Brendan Powers, who plays the role of Agennt Cranston on Graceland, was in Bangor performing in Penobscot Theater’s production of “Our Town” running from April 24 through May 11. IMG_2657_sm The cast for “Putnam County Spelling Bee” (May 2,3 &4) was in rehearsal in the Gracie’s Black Box Theater, which resulted in a few pics. IMG_2727_sm IMG_2685_sm A late night stop by the Gracie itself found the semi-finals of “Husson’s Got Talent” in full swing.  The new woofers from Meyer Sound really pump up the low end! Husson’s Got Talent is an annual campus competition that has grown to be quite a big event. IMG_2687_sm IMG_2692_smThursday night in the Gracie Theater, the NESCom chapter of the Audio Engineering Society welcomed world-class mastering engineer Bob Ludwig for a presentation. Ludwig owns Gateway Mastering in Portland, Maine and has mastered countless classic albums and modern hits like Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories. BobLudwig Finally, on Friday, NESCom partnered with the Maine Film Office and the Maine Video & Film Association to host a filmmaking workshop with the award winning writing/directing team of alumnus Aron Gaudet (’96) and Gita Pullapilly. Their latest film, Beneath The Harvest Sky, was filmed in Maine and had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and its US premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. aron_sm

Workshop with “Beneath The Harvest Sky” Filmmakers Aron Gaudet & Gita Pullapilly

Gita Pullapilly & Aron Gaudet

Gita Pullapilly & Aron Gaudet
Photo By: Shane Leonard

On Friday, April 25th in Kominsky Hall at Husson University, NESCom presents in partnership with the Maine Film Office and the Maine Video & Film AssociationAward-winning filmmakers Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly. From 3 to 5pm they will share their experiences as Maine-based artists and their innovative process of successfully making documentary and narrative films in the state of Maine. Their new feature film, BENEATH THE HARVEST SKY, had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and its US premiere will be at the Tribeca Film Festival. The film was acquired for release by Tribeca Films. Gaudet and Pullapilly were also chosen for Variety’s “10 Directors to Watch” list and signed by the talent agency, UTA.

Gaudet and Pullapilly also made the Emmy-nominated documentary feature, THE WAY WE GET BY, on the Maine Troop Greeters of Bangor, Maine. The film won 18 festival awards, played in over 60 theaters across the country, and aired on the critically acclaimed PBS program POV in 2009 and 2010.

Gaudet and Pullapilly will share their experiences in the research and writing, pre-production, production, and post-production process as well as their strategies for marketing and releasing BENEATH THE HARVEST SKY nationwide. In the past, they have spoken on panels for Film Independent in Los Angeles, IFP in New York City, Silverdocs in Washington D.C., the Toronto International Film Festival, and traveled to Australia to be film mentors for the HIVE LABS.

Following the event, BENEATH THE HARVEST SKY will screen at the Bangor Mall Cinemas, for the Maine premiere, where there will be a live performance from film composer/musician Dustin Hamman and the filmmakers will take part in a Q&A following each of the evening screenings.

For a complimentary ticket to the Maine premiere in Bangor on April 25, please RSVP: events@bangordailynews.com

The workshop in Kominsky Auditorium is free and open to the public.

Kominsky Auditorium at Husson University

Kominsky Auditorium at Husson University

NESCom Video Production Students & Faculty Work On Red Bull Frozen Rush

Video Production Student Chris Rancourt

Video Production Student Chris Rancourt

NESCom Instructor Steve Vachon

NESCom Instructor Steve Vachon

Students studying video production at NESCom got some real (chilly) world experience as utility on on the recent Red Bull Frozen Rush off-road truck race event at Sunday River in Newry, ME. The event, which was filmed for broadcast, included Red Bull athletes Ricky Johnson and Bryce Menzies driving the slopes of Sunday River on January 10th. Drivers that dared face the course found a variety of jumps, banked turns, slalom gates and a wild over-under gap jump.

Working the event were students Chris Rancourt and Jack White, both of which were hired by Boombox Productions to work utility on the event. Set up took a week of hard labor running cables and setting up for each camera position. Also working the event was NESCom Video Production Instructor Steve Vachon who was so close to the action a camera op that “…when a passing truck would strike the concrete retaining wall, I could feel the wall nudge against my camera position”.

The event will air nationally this Sunday at 3PM on NBC. For more information on the Frozen Rush series, visit RedBull.com/FrozenRush.

Aron Gaudet (’96) Recognized As Director To Watch By Variety

Variety has named NESCom alum Aron Gaudet and his wife/partner Gita Pullapilly as one of this year’s 10 directors to watch.

The latest project from Gaudet and Pullapilly is the film Beneath The Harvest Sky, which debuted at the Toronto Film Festival in September.

Students set the bar with production of the Nite Show

A note from NESCom President Thom Johnston:

The Nite Show with Danny Cashman has become a cult classic production that airs weekly across Maine, and in parts of New Hampshire and the Canadian Maritimes. In the tradition of Johnny Carson and David Letterman, Danny Cashman and his merry band of sycophants create a half hour broadcast every week that is a smorgasbord of talk and entertainment. The host and his sidekick Joe Kennedy, are a self-effacing duo who are, much like Carson and McMahon, at their best when things go astray. The Jump City Jazz Band, made up of of talented musicians, serves as the house band. That alone is worth the price of admission (which is free). While the Friday and Saturday night broadcasts on WABI, WAGM and WPXT have been polished somewhat in post-production, the best viewing is to attend a live session. Typically, three shows are produced in one session, but not necessarily in seriatim, which makes the live event a most interesting evening. Depending on the location where The Nite Show is recording, you can order a bowl of chili, a glass of wine or a bottle of beer as you play the role of a live audience

Noel Paul Stookey gets ready for his performance with NESCom student Nate Hart

RO-blog

Rustic Overtones on the Nite Show

None of this would be possible without a strong partnership, which includes WABI and the New England School of Communications. WABI is the platform which carries and distributes the Nite Show. The students and faculty of NESCom provide all of the production, which is a great resume builder for them. The most recent session took place at the Penobscot Theater in Bangor this past Wednesday night and was well attended, probably because of the venue and because of appearances by Noel Paul Stookey and The Rustic Overtones. Watching a show under construction adds to the entertainment, and you don’t have to go to New York or LA to see how this is done. You can catch mistakes, watch retakes, see how the present becomes the future and enjoy the band and guests as they offer more to the live audience than you’ll get in a 30 minute episode (distilled to 22 after commercials).

For those who are discerning and interested in video production, I commend watching the NESCom students in action with video cameras, microphones, cables, and consoles. On the audio side, sound is simultaneously being mixed for musician monitors, broadcast mix, house audio and multi-track recording. Regarding video, you’ll see multiple camera positions, a hand-held fig rig, an occasional mini-dolly and a flypack switcher. All of this activity is fascinating dance of technology and talent constrained by the clock.

If you’re interested in attending the next recording session, keep an eye on TheNiteShow website for upcoming tapings.

-Thom Johnston
President
New England School of Communications

NESCom Professor Films Award Winning Documentary

Rafael Garcia (Director), Todd Eastman (Director of Photography), Richard Webb (Assistant Director/Mexico, Camera Op), Nich Nycamp (Camera Op),  on the steps of the Church of San Tomas in Chichicastenango, Guatemala.

Rafael Garcia (Director), Todd Eastman (Director of Photography), Richard Webb (Assistant Director/Mexico, Camera Op), Nich Nycamp (Camera Op), on the steps of the Church of San Tomas in Chichicastenango, Guatemala.

In 2009, a group of filmmakers set out to Guatemala and Mexico to tell the story of the ancient Maya and the discovery of a once sacred site that lies under the surface of Lake Atitlan. The expedition leads to the 2000-year-old city of Samabaj with breathtaking results. Now completed, the finished film, titled Mayan Blue, has received awards and acclaim at film festivals across the country.

The crew, lead by Director Rafael Garcia included Director of Photography and New England School of Communications professor Todd Eastman. “My goal was to convey the same sense of wonder and discovery I was was feeling at that moment while staying true to the vision of the film” says Eastman as he reflects on the process. In addition to serving as Director of Photography, Eastman was also Steadicam operator and a diver on the production. With filming on land and underwater, the production involved 5 years of complex production that was required to effectively tell the tale venturing into the Mayan underworld known as Xibalba (pronounced /ʃɨˈbɒlbə/).

Mayan Blue was screened at the 2013 SOHO Film Festival. It received an Audience Choice Award at the 2013 Savannah Film Festival and was recognized as Best Cinematography and Best Documentary at the Geneva International Film Festival.

Eastman, who is developing the Digital Film program at NESCom adds; “I consider the experience of making this film both an honor and a landmark in professional growth that I can pass on to students. To be given the opportunity to create images that can take people places they have possibly only dreamed of is a privilege”.

For more information on Mayan Blue visit the film’s Facebook page

Something EPIC this way comes

Over the past 2 years, the Video Production department at the New England School of Communications has developed digital filmmaking courses to meet the needs of both the industry and the interest of the students. With the addition of a new RED Epic Mysterium, these courses are set to take their production quality to a whole new level.

The RED EPIC Mysterium-X, a camera in the Epic wheelhouse at RED DIGITAL CINEMA, is one of an elite group of extremely high quality cameras being used in digital cinema today. RED’s EPIC cameras have been used to create modern blockbusters like Prometheus and Pacific Rim. Peter Jackson, a big supporter of the RED line shot The Hobbit on an EPIC camera.  NESCom’s EPIC Mysterium-X includes 3 Zeiss CP.2 prime lenses and can shoot up to 5K in resolution.

epic_product

This fall, the camera will be used in the VID312 Digital Cinematography course with Director of Photography and NESCom faculty Todd Eastman, M.F.A. In addition to use in the classroom, the RED EPIC has already been scheduled for use in the production of the recently-announced short film The Tale Of The Three Brothers.

For more information on the RED line of cameras, visit http://www.red.com

 

NESCom starts short film with permission from Warner Brothers to adapt the work of J.K. Rowling

threebrothersbanner

NEW ENGLAND SCHOOL OF COMMUNICATIONS STARTS NEW SHORT FILM

With permission from Warner Brothers to adapt the work of J.K. Rowling

The New England School of Communications is proud to announce that it is set to start casting for its second short film. In 2011-2012 the students of NESCom completed an adaption of Stephen King’s “The Last Rung on the Ladder”, which went on to win “Best Film in Maine” at the Lewiston Auburn Film Festival. This year we were graciously given permission from Warner Brothers to adapt a short story by J.K. Rowling that falls in the world of Harry Potter.The Story, “The Tale of Three Brothers” was featured in the 7th and final Potter novel (The Deathly Hallows), and was later released in a series of short stories titled, “The Tales of Beedle the Bard”. NESCom is planning on holding an open casting call for actors and actresses on September 3rd from 6-9pm at the Gracie Theatre at Husson University. The project will then be filmed in various Maine locations this fall, and ultimately entered into film festivals around the country.The faculty and students involved in this project are very eager to get started, and look forward to producing a new and exciting vision of the work that JK Rowling created. The very short story has already been turned into a shooting script by two of the students (Sydney Hazzard and Brandon Doyen, who will also direct the project) and the crew is being assembled as the new school year begins.For more information on the production of The Tale Of The Three Brothers, email threebrothers@nescom.edu

Auditions

Open casting call for actors and actresses on September 3rd from 6-9pm at the Gracie Theatre at Husson University

Roles to be cast:
Male (aged 60 to 75)

Boy (aged 8 to 12)

3 males (aged 18 to 30)

Girl (aged 5 to 10)

2 male (aged 20 to 50)

Female (aged 18 to 30)